And Jarrett Roby was a perfect candidate for CSP: a graduate of Urban Preparatory Academy in Chicago, the all black male charter school which has achieved a 100% college acceptance rate for its students three years in a row. What did Roby do to get expelled from the program? He was uncomfortable attending the LGBT sensitivity training; when he approached his Resident Assistant privately about his discomfort, his concerns were dismissed and he was informed he would be punished for not attending the seminar. Later, a few other students confronted Roby, calling him close-minded for not wanting to attend. Roby spoke in his own defense, and the debate died down on its own. Three RA’s, however, reported Roby to the program directors the next day, testifying that they felt physically threatened by Roby, resulting in his expulsion.
Said Roby in an email to blogger Kira Davis, “I never mentioned anything remotely violent or did anything violent. Also I am confident that all of my peers would support the fact that I have never showed an ounce of violence and any such claims are flawed.” Since they never gave Roby a fair hearing to speak in his own defense, it sure looks like Georgetown pulled one of the oldest racist tricks in the book by condemning a black male because he appeared “threatening.” Other scholars were understandably hesitant to speak out on Roby’s behalf, fearing the loss of their scholarships.
Meanwhile in Georgia, graduate student Jennifer Keeton is suing Augusta State University for allegedly forcing her to change her beliefs about homosexuality before they would award her a degree. According to the lawsuit being brought on her behalf by the Alliance Defense Fund, "[Keeton] believes sexual behavior is the result of accountable personal choice...Further, she has expressed her view that homosexuality is a 'lifestyle,' not a 'state of being,' In certain personal conversations away from the classroom with friends and colleagues, Miss Keeton has shared her Christian faith, and commended its virtues and benefits. In the course of such discussions, she has also communicated Christian viewpoints on matters related to sexual ethics.” This is apparently too much free speech for the LGBT Thought Police, and Miss Keeton has been ordered to attend mandatory sensitivity training and to write papers reflecting on the content of that training. She has also been told to spend more time among homosexuals at events such as the Gay Pride Parade.
Still believe the fight over marriage is just about gay couples who want the rights and benefits of marriage and nothing more? Changing the legal definition of marriage to include homosexual relationships is tantamount to conferring societal approval on homosexuality. If gay marriage becomes law, there will be no legal barriers to keep institutions from forcing students to suppress their deeply held religious beliefs. Religious freedom is a hallmark of our nation. Let’s keep it that way.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
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